The mason had been working all day in the sun and the heat rebuilding the brick wall of the church next door. While not the hottest day of the week, it wasn’t the coolest either. As I was leaving for the day, he was still at work, although he had briefly ducked into the church building for one reason or another.
While inside, a couple walked down the alley. It is appropriate to not judge books by their cover, but if the cover is showing a lot of damage it is fair to assume it has had a rough time. The couple, a man and a woman, looked like they had been through a lot. They paused by the brick wall, noticed the garden hose with the spray nozzle that the mason had been using to keep the dust down, and the man furtively grabbed the hoses end and quickly sprayed himself and the woman across their exposed arms and legs.
Just then, the mason returned from inside, and the man quickly dropped the hose and began apologizing profusely. “Hey, if you are hot,” the mason said, “there’s a cooler in the back of my truck with bottles of water in it. Help yourself.”
The couple went to the cooler and took two bottles of water and went on their way.
I went up to the mason and said as I was driving away and said, “That was a really good thing you did just then.”
“It is what we Christians do, am I right?” he replied.
It is indeed. I think that as we continue to find ways to navigate this unprecedented time, moments of pure, foundational love and kindness are the stepping stones across that turbulent river. For a bricklayer building a church, it is what we do.